The Walkability of the Cities: Improving It Through the Reuse of Available Data and Raster Analyses

The Walkability of the Cities: Improving It Through the Reuse of Available Data and Raster Analyses

Luigi La Riccia (Politecnico di Torino, Italy), Antonio Cittadino (Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy), Francesco Fiermonte (Politecnico di Torino, Italy), Gabriele Garnero (Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy), Paola Guerreschi (Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy) and Franco Vico (Politecnico di Torino, Italy)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7927-4.ch005

Abstract

The issue of city walkability is nowadays a theme in evidence. The chapter proposes a two-level reasoning. At the city level, the goal is to recognize the parts where actions aimed at improving walkability can be more effective. The second level is more detailed: lacking pedestrian paths' specific graphs, the urban space is modeled through a raster with 1x1 m. cells. Considering a series of criteria, an impedance has been assigned to each cell (i.e., the cost of travelling the cell on foot). This approach is applied to the city of Torino (Italy), but it is largely generalizable. To calculate this impedance, inter alia, the Torino geo-topographic database was used. The elaborations described in this chapter are seen as an aid to stakeholders to reason on city walkability and to compare different points of view in an explicit and articulated way.
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Background

Definitions of Walkability

Walkability and accessibility with alternative mobility are conditions for the development of the quality of urban and territorial life, as well as a way to deal concretely with the great issues of the “right to the city” (Lefebvre 1968; Harvey 2008) and the relationship between city and welfare.

In literature, there are many definitions of “walkability”. For Abley (2005)walkability or walkable is “the extent to which the built environment is walking friendly”: this definition enables the opportunity for a subjective or qualitative assessment against specific criteria. These criteria may be characteristics such as the “5 Cs”: connected, convivial, conspicuous, comfortable and convenient, or other criteria specific to a particular user.

For Seilo (2004), walkability “is a measure of the urban form and the quality and availability of pedestrian infrastructure contained within a defined area. Pedestrian infrastructure includes amenities developed to promote pedestrian efficiency and safety such [as] sidewalks, trails, [and] pedestrian bridges”.

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